2011 Positional Review: Third Basemen

Injuries and under-performance derailed the Dodgers' hot corner production in 2011.

I wasn't a huge fan of Casey Blake's 3 year contract that he signed back in the winter of '08 but he proved to be a valuable player in 2009, hitting .280 with 18 home runs and a 4.9 WAR. In 2010, the bat disappeared but his glove led to an impressive 3.3 WAR. Unfortunately, 2011 was a different story. Playing in just 63 games, Blake batted .252/.342/.371 with a 1.2 UZR, accounting for a 1.1 WAR.

It wasn't so much the fact that he didn't play well as that he didn't play often, leading to 459.2 innings in the field for Aaron Miles, who batted .249/.321/.321 in 58 games at the hot corner. His defense also left much to be desired, costing the team 3.7 runs below what an average defender could have produced.

And when Miles was too busy playing second, it came to Juan Uribe, who hit .199/.262/.270 in nearly 200 at bats playing third. His defense was something of a saving grace, though, as he produced a 5.6 UZR. Regardless, on a team with so little offense, Uribe's bat was far more detrimental to the club than his glove was beneficial.

The rest of the field didn't have enough time to contribute much. Russell Mitchell played just 11 games at third and hit .161, while Justin Sellers played 5 games there and Juan Castro accounted for the final contest. They went a combined 8 for 49.

Blake's injuries really hurt the Dodgers last season. The combination of Miles lack of production, coupled with Uribe's non-existent glove, led to a miserable situation. The group tallied the 24th ranked OPS in MLB, though their UZR ranked 13th. Nevertheless, the Dodgers need more offense from the hot corner in 2012.